Halloween is usually one of the most exciting and fun times of the year for children and families. It’s great for sparking children’s imaginations, engaging in sensory play and building traditions. Usually, Halloween is a time for decorating, baking treats, and of course dressing up and going tricking or treating.
However, it might seem that Covid-19 has put a bit of a damper on things this year. However, there are still plenty of ways that families can have fun at Halloween whilst helping to keep everyone safe by preventing the spread of the virus.
Outdoors not in
We know that Covid-19 spreads much more readily indoors, so avoid indoor events like parties or haunted houses. Instead lookout for local community events where social distancing can be observed, a corn maze or pumpkin patch might be a good alternative to indoor events.
The costume is a big part of Halloween fun for kids so naturally, they will want to show it off. Why not use programs like skype, zoom or Microsoft teams to organize an online costume parade. With our cooler climate here in Connecticut costumes often end up hidden away under more practical layers, this might be the first time that doesn’t need to happen.
If children are going to outdoor events, encourage them to make a cloth face mask part of their costume. With a bit of imagination, a cloth face covering can be incorporated into most costume themes!
Get creative with your dinner and allow children to decorate food with spooky themes, icing Halloween colored cupcakes, and decorating with sprinkles or using pizza toppings to make different shapes are all fun ways to celebrate at home as a family. For more Halloween food ideas check out Pinterest
This is one Halloween tradition that doesn’t need to change! Designing and carving pumpkin lanterns is a great Halloween family tradition. If you’re feeling brave then allowing children to play with the gooey innards of the pumpkin and it’s seeds in a plastic tub or tray is a brilliant sensory activity that helps fire up their imaginations as well as having benefits to their fine motor skills.
Handling trick-or-treating in the community
It is likely that Trick-or-treating may be discouraged or canceled in some areas this year. This is likely to upset children who are looking forward to the usual fun but it does represent a good opportunity to teach children social responsibility by explaining the importance of protecting other, more vulnerable, members of our community from infection. Modeling our responsibility to make good choices can help our children to understand that our choices affect others. An alternative to trick or treating might be a scavenger hunt around your yard, or even inside the house.
However, if trick-or-treating is still on in your neighborhood, then avoid large groups, huddling closely on doorsteps, and consider wiping down or “quarantining” treats before giving them to children.
In terms of handing out treats, preparing individual bags, or laying out candy for children to take is much better than having everyone rummage in a bowl! Though you might consider non-edible treats this year which are suitable for kids with allergies too.
Covid-19 doesn’t mean that Halloween is canceled, it just means that we need to get a bit more creative about how we celebrate and continue to keep others safe by avoiding crowds, washing our hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining 6 feet of distance between ourselves and others. This Halloween is a great time to start new traditions and try out different ways of celebrating, what will you family be doing this Halloween?